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A Right Palaver

British flag Managing Editor's Note: We welcome Martin J. Walker to Age of Autism. He has covered every day of the General Medical Council 'trial' of Dr Andrew Wakefield, Professor Simon Murch and Professor Walker Smith taking place in London. AofA will be posting his reports regulary until the 'trial' is expected to end in August of this year. Anyone who wants to read Walker's reports of the full 125 days can read a full introduction to the hearings on AOA later this week. The following piece is Walker's latst report for the www.CryShame.com web site.

By Martin J. Walker

Outside the glass bubble of the GMC, in Almost-Normal Land, it did look as if things might be taking a turn for the better. Brian Deer's next instalment of bile, the forewarning of which was emailed to Dr. Wakefield as he prepared his presentation to the Treating Autism Conference, never materialised in Sunday's paper. In all probability, this withdrawal was influenced by the first complaint to the Press Complaints Commission handed in at the end of the previous week. The news that James Murdoch had come out of the closet and publicly accepted an executive position on the Board of GlaxoSmithKline, in whose interest he now vows to use his good offices to put down community opposition to their drugs, gave some hope that The Sunday Times and Brian Deer would be seen for what they are; there was even a rumour that The Sunday Times was to be renamed The GlaxoSundayKlines.

Even the second Treatment Autism Conference at Bournemouth, packed with parents who applauded Dr. Wakefield till their hands hurt, rasied hope that change was in the air. In America, after the recent set backs in the corporation-tinted Omnibus Hearings, there was a second court decision in favour of the argument that vaccines are implicated in some cases of autism.

Please click HERE to read the full continuation of this post.

Martin J Walker is an investigative writer who has written four books about aspects of the medical industrial complex. He started focusing on conflict of interest, intervention by pharmaceutical companies in government and patient groups in 1993. Over the last three years he has been a campaign writer for the parents of MMR vaccine damaged children covering every day of the now two year hearing of the General Medical Council that is trying Dr Wakefield and two other doctors. His GMC accounts can be found at Cry Shame, and his own website is Slingshot Publications.


Jake Crosby

Brian Deer's combination of idiocy and arrogance is laughable. If he can't even respond to my posts on a blog properly, how can he competantly write stories for The Sunday Times on this story? He can't!

After I posted a copy of the email he sent to the GMC on Gorski's blog, he left a long rant of his own shortly after.

Then I left a long response to him on Gorski's blog, and this is his canard of a response, yet too stuck up to use my name directly:

Since Nick Chadwick's name has been raised. Here is the protocol for the work carried out. It names Chadwick as the responsible scientist, and his (negative) results should therefore have been provided to both the Legal Aid Board and the public. And they weren't. That ends the matter.


I'm amazed (well not amazed) that anyone would raise Dr Kawashima, who made it plain in writing that he accepted that his results were uniformative, not least because the putative strains of virus he reported were not, in fact, strains of any known vaccine or virus circulating in the UK. Hence Wakefield retracted reliance on them in litigation, but of course still keeps the paper on his website so as to better misinform parents.

Posted by: Brian Deer | March 24, 2009 6:36 PM

Here is my response to him:

"It names Chadwick as the responsible scientist, and his (negative) results should therefore have been provided to both the Legal Aid Board and the public. And they weren't."

Why should Chadwick's role in the study had been provided to the public and Legal Services Commission if he disassociated himself from the study?

"who made it plain in writing that he accepted that his results were uniformative"

To my knowledge, both Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Kawashima stand by the validity of their results to this day.

"least because the putative strains of virus he reported were not, in fact, strains of any known vaccine or virus circulating in the UK."

And yet, Chadwick says so himself in his own testimony at the Autism Omnibus Hearing Kathleen Seidel linked me to that he believes the biopsies sent to Japan were contaminated by measles RNA from SSPE patients he used as positive controls.

Posted by: Jake Crosby | March 24, 2009 10:24 PM

Needless to say, he did not reply. He has been reporting on the story for five years now, long before I even knew about autism and vaccines. And I ended up correcting him, which would suggest to me that he's more of a front man than anything. The thought that he could be capable of causing this much damage to the careers of three doctors in Britain seems very unrealistic.

Martin J. Walker

I just want to add to the perceptive comments about the BBC and tell readers something about the Judge John Deed drama. The series was written by Gordon Newman an in-house drama producer for the BBC and one of
Britain's last remaining 'old school' social dramatists. The first series that he wrote and produced for the BBC, Law and Order, brought the police, the prison service and state prosecutors down on him and the BBC, and his
series The Nations Health attracted the odium of the Trades Unions and the NHS.

By the early years of 2000 though censorship and interference in the BBC had not only become more stealthy, it hit in a very focused manner in
defence of industry generally but the pharmaceutical companies in particular. Judge John Deed, a drama about a discerning and principled
judge who found himself doing battle with environmentally toxic companies, ran for something like 24 episodes. Each epsode brought in letters from industry, questioning what they saw as bias in the dramas.

But of all the episodes it was the one about MMR, which followed a kind of pastiche story of a Dr Wakefield, that caused the most internal fear and loathing at the BBC, within weeks of it's showing and on the excuse of a
very flimsy letter from an obvious pharmaceutical company agent, the episode was banned world wide by an internal dictate. Followers of Judge John Deed can not now buy this episode in the shop sold box sets of this
very successful series.

Actually as an advisor to the programme I was not at all surprised when the BBC took this action. Through my other research, I had seen them become increasingly more deeply involved in the growing science lobbies,
such as Sense About Science and the Science Media Centre that have been increasingly influential in Britain since the last years of the 1990s.
Like the Sunday Times, the BBC, so close to government anyway, has sold out to the industrial corporatism - especially on vaccines - that now govern much media in Britain.

John Stone

BBC independence was finally stifled by Lord Hutton's enquiry into the death of David Kelly, which found a technical defence for Blair (who was basically lying) and a technical condemnation of the BBC journalist, Andrew Gilligan (who was basically telling the truth). Thereafter the Chairman and Director General resigned, and the BBC became a politically subservient organisation. It was shortly after this that it hosted the political lynching of Andrew Wakefield - before that date it already had the journalists prepared to carry it out - but it could probably have still been held to account for bias.

A last flourish was the Judge John Deed drama series (to which Martin was the adviser) in which the hero more or less saved the world from the pharma by circulating every MP about hidden legislation (as we now know they don't take any notice if you do this): for the most part they would rather vote for the end of the world than against Glaxo or News Corporation.

I do believe that not so long ago the BBC still stood for something - and internationally too. Now - apart from supporting four great orchestras - it is a ratbag organisation without an ounce integrity, and widely disregarded.


We're delighted to welcome our UK writers - they bring a wit and clarity that is so utterly British. We'll BBC'ing more of them! (You may throw something at your screen now.)



Martin Walker is so perceptive, and so funny too!

Glad we will be seeing his work here at AoA.


I picked up a special addition of TIME where Joe Stein did a page on reporters and "product placement". It was a sarcastic op ed piece on how reporters in the Internet age stoop to keep revenues going. A while later I thumbed back through the same magazine and found an article on flu shots and the much fatigued topic of pandemics. The report concludes "What to do...get a flu shot."
I think the word "whore", while vulgar, is the only word that adequately describes
those in the free press who act as Pharma hacks.
Perhaps like the recently uncovered Harvard prof who drafted his bi-polar med study to benefit Johnson and Johnson, the media pundits are no more than hired hands.

GMC, get a life!!

"The very core of the prosecution case has
been the suggestion that the children were not ill but were abused by the three doctors
with unnecessary procedures conducted solely for the purposes of mounting a legal
claim against the vaccine manufacturers."

It is fallacy to think that parents (in collusion with doctors, because I don't believe that doctors would be able to do this without parental consent) everywhere have the time and inclination to pawn off their kids in order to get *something* from pharmaceutical companies. People who would do that would be nothing more than brothel owners. This is a very serious charge and it shows that the prosecution is deluded, dangerous and extremely offensive in its very flawed belief system.


Bravo Mr. Walker, as per usual! Here are some of my favorites:

"There are times when I think that this can't be happening and I think that someone's head should roll for this execrably organised farce that is an insult to those accused and a sad reflection on the honesty and capability of its organisers."

"To be honest, and this is a measure of my developing cynicism, I did think when I heard reports of her accident, that it was an excuse to gain more time. Secretly, I had imagined that come the day, come the counsel, and she would enter with two cartwheels and then flex her shoulder muscles behind the rostrum before embarking on a scintillating closing speech." (God bless your developing cynicism sir!)

"While feeling nothing but sympathy for the
wretched injuries suffered by those associated with this hearing, it did cross my mind that day that there must be some link between this rotting pageant of procedural abuse and the injuries."

"Listening to Miss Smith's hypocrisy, it came to my mind just how unbelievably British and middle class her statement was, her voice dripping with pious insincerity." (niiice!)

"Interestingly, the prosecution have not been able to bring any witnesses who could give material evidence about the exact nature of any of the constructed situations upon which they rely, their evidence is at best shaky and at worst entirely circumstantial."

"There can be no doubt that the sling impedes the drama of Miss Smith's presentation. As she gestures with her remaining free hand towards the panel, one gets the distinct impression that her body is not behind her movements and she looks like an amateur actor practising sincerity in front of a mirror." (snort)

**too long to quote, page 7: all of paragraph 2! LOL

"As the mid morning break came round on Wednesday, Miss Smith uttered a Smithism good enough for anyone's grave stone. Addressing the panel chairman, with sweetness and light she murmured coquettishly: 'I'm very much in your hands as to how long I go on'." (Smithism... LOVE it!)

Again, too long to quote: the entire Afterthought.

Keep 'em coming Mr. Walker!

John Stone

I cannot believe Martin's fortitude and stamina (not to mention, latterly, courage) in sitting through this endless farrago. The autism community will always be immensely in his debt.

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